Public Info

Union County Awards Grants for Recreation, Historic Sites & New Trees

The Union County Board of County Commissioners are happy to announce that 18 towns in Union County have been the recipient of multiple grants that seek to improve the lives and environment of county citizens. The Preserve Union County Grant has granted Union County $300,000 in funding, the Kids Recreation Trust Fund has granted Union County $1 million dollars in funding, and the Greening Union County program has granted Union County $100,000 in funding.

“These grants play a crucial role in enhancing the overall quality of life in Union County,” said Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “When the Trust Fund was created over twenty years ago, our county residents made it clear they wanted to see Union County conserve open space, provide more recreational opportunities, and preserve historic sites. The Board of Commissioners takes great pride in its ongoing administration of the Trust Fund to accomplish these goals.”

Funded through the Union County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, this money is awarded to Union County towns on a matching grant basis. The mission of the Open Space Trust Fund is to assist in the execution of policy made by the Union County Board of County Commissioners to conserve open space, provide recreational opportunities, and to preserve historic sites.

“We are thrilled to announce another round of grants for 2023 from the Open Space, Recreation & Historic Preservation Trust Fund,” said Trust Fund Chair Commissioner Lourdes Leon. “Our county residents are enjoying the improvements in all aspects of their lives due to these grants. Their playgrounds are better designed for all children, including those with special needs. Our parks and city streets receive more trees, and our beautiful historic buildings are better preserved, so that we can share our Union County history with many generations to come.”

Eighteen municipalities received funding from the Kids Recreation Trust Fund:

  • Berkeley Heights – $30,300.00. Implement a new foundation system at the lower pickleball and tennis courts at Columbia Park.
  • Clark – $24,072.00. Install new playground equipment at Veteran’s Field.
  • Cranford – $60,000.00. Install air conditioning at the new Recreation Center located at 375 Centennial Avenue.
  • Elizabeth – $170,000.00. Replace the existing gymnasium floors at the Erxleben Recreation Center as well as revitalize the Lynch Memorial Playground through the incorporation of a new spray park and new playground equipment.
  • Fanwood – $40,000.00. Install a new gazebo at Forest Road Park.
  • Kenilworth – $50,000.00. Improvements to DiMario Park, Ninth Street Park, and Sixteenth Street Park.
  • Linden – $60,000.00. Replace and upgrade playgrounds that have been identified by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) as being in the most immediate need for replacing in the City’s master plan.
  • Mountainside – $40,000.00. Upgrade Deerfield School:  Replace the lights at the tennis and pickleball courts, upgrade the sod and sprinkler system at the softball and baseball fields, install water fountains, add safety netting at the fields, and repair the siding and second floor of the announcing area at the Snack Shack.
  • New Providence – $50,000.00. New stand-alone pickleball courts adjacent to the existing tennis courts (court surface and lines, fencing, nets, and benches). Additionally, the funds may be used to line one of the current tennis courts to create four additional pickleball courts (including lines, nets, fencing).
  • Plainfield – $55,630.00. Resurfacing of the basketball courts at Seidler Field and the removal of an existing fence and the reparation of a concrete ledge near the basketball court.
  • Rahway – $65,000.00. Reconstruct and rehabilitate the playground structure located at Berzinec Park making it ADA accessible.
  • Roselle – $50,000.00. Renovate and undertake repairs at Pine Street Park and Chandler Park.
  • Roselle Park – $50,000.00. Renovate Acker Park and install ADA features at the playground area.
  • Scotch Plains – $60,000.00. Resurface the basketball courts at Kramer Manor Park.
  • Springfield – $40,000.00. Renovate the Tennis Court overlay new pickleball lines at Henshaw Park.
  • Summit – $40,000.00. Resurface and make improvements to the basketball courts at Mabie Playground.
  • Union – $65,000.00. Upgrade Alpine Park with ADA playground equipment and to do resurfacing.
  • Westfield – $50,000.00. Upgrade and renovate the playground at Memorial Park as an ADA and inclusive playground.

Fifteen municipalities were awarded grants for planting trees under the Greening Union County program:

  • Berkeley Heights – $4,000.00 (10 trees)
  • Clark – $6,300.00 (25 trees)
  • Cranford– $5,000.00 (30 trees)
  • Elizabeth – $23,000.00 (150 trees)
  • Fanwood – $2,200.00 (10 trees)
  • Garwood – $8,000.00 (20 trees)
  • Kenilworth – $2,000.00 (20 trees)
  • New Providence – $2,500.00 (12 trees)
  • Plainfield – $10,000.00 (60 trees)
  • Rahway – $6,000.00 (35 trees)
  • Roselle – $5,000.00 (70 trees)
  • Scotch Plains – $5,000.00 (50 trees)
  • Springfield – $7,287.00 (40 trees)
  • Union – $3,713.00 (11 trees)
  • Westfield – $10,000.00 (65 trees)

Seven municipalities received funding from the Preserve Union County Grant:

  • Berkeley Heights – Littell-Lord Farmstead – $40,000.00. Stabilize the foundation and ensure that necessary archaeological work will be completed in accordance with the procedures and standards of the NJHPO. There will be upgrades at foundations; first and second floor framing, stabilization of the interior stairs and sagging flooring, and stabilization of any additional flooring and ceilings needed to allow public entry.
  • Fanwood – Fanwood Carriage House – $40,000.00. Repair and replace the cedar roof, refinish the floor, and paint the building.
  • Kenilworth – Nitschke House – $11,500.00. Restore the doors, door frames, window frames, window sills and base molding in five second-floor rooms at the Nitschke House using the same multi-phase “faux-graining” technique as was used on the first floor.
  • Plainfield – Plainfield Masonic Temple – $40,000.00. Prepare the design and contract documents for the exterior restoration and interior restoration and rehabilitation of the Plainfield Masonic Lodge. The focus of the restoration and rehabilitation work will be to restore exterior masonry, windows, doors, and at the interior to repair and restore interior spaces within the public areas of the lodge including the Lounge/Dining Room, repair and adding restrooms per code and to improve accessibility, and at the upper levels to upgrade the existing elevator, provide a barrier-free entrance, restore the Theatre/Ballroom including finishes, lighting, etc., and restore office space
  • Plainfield – Plainfield YMCA Building – $40,000.00. Restore the building’s façade, removal and replacement of masonry, bricks, wood cornices and dried out mortar joints.
  • Rahway – Merchant and Drovers Tavern – $40,000.00. Repair thirteen wood windows located in the building’s North elevation and its one-and-one-half story attached kitchen wing.
  • Scotch Plains – Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Frazee House Inc – $40,000.00. Install new utilities at the site, including electric, heat, and water, as well as ADA compliant facilities.
  • Scotch Plains – The Shady Rest Golf & Country Club – $40,000.00. Repair and restore the Shady Rest Country Club, including the clapboards, corner boards in the building, double hung wood windows, railings, and the replacement of the doors.
  • Township of Union/Kean University – Liberty Hall Museum – $16,850.00. Replace the Cedar Shake Roof and the copper gutters attached to section of the roof.

For more information on the Open Space Trust Fund or the Department of Parks and Recreation, please visit or contact Angelica Cedeno at 908-558-2279 or via email at